1. Combine the graham cracker crumbs and sugar in a medium bowl, then add the melted butter. Toss with a fork until the crumbs are evenly moistened and clump together.
2. Transfer the crumbs to a springform pan. Tamp down firmly using the bottom of a small drinking glass. After baking, cool on a wire rack. Don’t forget to lower the oven temperature before the next step.
1. Start by mixing the cream cheese and sugar on low-medium speed until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beaters occasionally to remove any lumps. Add the vanilla, followed by the eggs, mixing just until incorporated.
2. Pour the mixture over the cooled crust and jiggle the pan to level the surface. Bake just until the sides have risen slightly and the centre is still wobbly. Transfer the cake to a wire rack while preparing the sour cream topping. Remember to raise the oven temperature for the last step.
3. Mix together the topping ingredients, dollop onto the warm cake and spread in an even layer with an offset metal spatula or the back of a spoon. Return the cake to the oven for just 5 minutes then cool it on a wire rack for about 1 hour.
4. Run a knife between the cake and the edges of the pan and release the springform ring. Chill the cake well before cutting.
Springform + Substitutes
A solid leakproof springform pan is recommended, but there are other options.
Use a deep pie dish that measures 9½ inches (24 cm) across the top. Be sure to press the crust crumbs not only on the bottom of the dish but all the way up the sides as well.
A 9-inch (23-cm) square pan can also be used. Prepare as you would in a springform pan, but first line the pan with a cross of parchment paper so that all 4 sides are covered; pat crust into bottom of pan.
Kitchen Pro Tool
The size and angle of a small off-set metal spatula makes it the perfect tool for spreading cake batters, or in this case, the thin layer of sour cream, smoothly and evenly.